NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- African
governments should invest in tourism projects that promote climate resilience to
ensure coastal communities are shielded from extreme weather events, poverty,
hunger and disease, experts said on Monday.
attending the blue economy conference taking place in Nairobi, stressed the need
for governments and investors to pay attention to the health of marine ecosystem
while constructing tourism facilities to ensure livelihoods of communities
living along Africa’s coastlines are not disrupted.
“We need to
develop our tourism sector in a green and sustainable manner to ensure marine
resources that support millions of livelihoods are protected,” Joe Okudo,
Kenya’s tourism principal secretary said on the sidelines of the blue economy
hosting the world’s inaugural blue economy conference that has attracted around
10,000 participants from 183 countries to explore innovative ways to harness
ocean and inland fresh water resources to spur growth.
Heads of State and Government drawn mainly from Sub-Saharan Africa as well as
ministers, industry executives and scientists are attending the three-day event.
that tourism, shipping and aquaculture are strategic pillars of the blue economy
whose growth is key to tackle Africa’s hunger, poverty, disease and ecological
forward, sound environmental practices should be embedded in the tourism sector
that is heavily dependent on marine ecosystem to thrive,” said Okudo, adding
that Kenya has developed policies to ensure investments in beach tourism promote
conservation of mangrove forests.
governments should factor the sustainability needs of coastal communities during
utilization of marine resources to grow tourism, fisheries and shipping.
director in the environment directorate at Paris-based Organization for Economic
Cooperation and Development (OECD), said that development of tourism should be
devoid of ocean pollution to help protect livelihoods of fishermen.
infrastructure in Africa should be enhanced to ensure it withstands adverse
effects of climate change like sea level rise,” said Rodolfo, adding that
governments and industry have an obligation to protect marine resources during
offshore oil drilling and construction of tourist resorts along African
countries should replicate global best practices to green the tourism sector and
ensure economic benefits trickle down to coastal communities.
Wallace, an ocean scientist, said that investment in research and public
awareness is key to promoting climate resilience tourism in a continent with a
huge repository of untapped marine resources.